Should We Scold Employees at the workplace?

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Written by BusinessAlligators Support

Support Staff at BusinessAlligators is a team of business experts led by Shilpi Singh Trusted by over 100K readers worldwide.

March 1, 2019

Let us face it this time and agree that this happens at the workplace because if we want good results, then we need to put the focus on this area. But is it necessary to scold employees and if yes then how to scold them?

For a very long time, seniors are scolding their juniors at the workplace to bring out better performances from them especially in sales, but is this the right way? Isn’t there any other way that can bring greater productivity out of employees without scolding them?

I personally believe that when a manager scolds his subordinates, he never has any personal grudges, he only does so because this is what he has been taught by society. Scold, to get quick results. A child is not studying, scold him and he will study. Your daughter is asking for a night out; scold her she will sit at home. And when we see the astonishingly fast results, we never give heed to learn other ways and get habitual of doing things in this familiar way.

But the real question that arises is, do we really need to learn other ways because scolding often fetches us great results and some prominent business gurus quite often say, ‘keep doing those things which are giving you results’.

Well that is true, we should keep doing the things which are giving results but according to Spencer Johnson, the writer of the book “Who Moved My Cheese” we should always work on finding new resources while we still have our current resources because if you don’t find the new ones, then one day your current resources will get finished and you will die with hunger or you will have to live with very few results.

That simply means that if you won’t improve, then all your great employees will leave you one day. But one of the most genius businessman of all times, Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Inc. was too harsh on his employees that some people even considered him as a jerk and mean to his employees. Yet, people still love him and talk about him.

Stories like these always drag managers to adopt scolding as a way to get quick results. But the problem is that most of us make conclusions on behalf of small instances, we never look into the detailing as that takes time and a lot of research to exactly understand the circumstances.

If we talk about Steve Jobs, then he was not into scolding, he was into achieving astonishing and extraordinary results, he was into accomplishing things which have never been done in the past. To be honest, I feel he never scolded, he fought for achieving his vision. Either the counterpart is an employee, a shareholder, or the co-founder Steve Wozniak. But managers misunderstood this as scolding and started using it on achieving regular targets by giving the name of Steve Jobs.

Later in life Jobs even changed himself and became humbler and patient. This clearly shows that later he understood that scolding is not the only way to get the desired performances extracted out of his employees

Dale Carnegie, in his book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” shared many instances where he proved that praising someone always gives better results when compared to condemning or criticizing.

Dale Carnegie researched the managing style of people like John D. Rockefeller (richest American ever) and found that when you show people their profit in a particular task,  then they perform the same task more engagingly as compared to when they are just given a task and triggered with a whip. He further mentioned that the empathy and feeling of importance can create wonders in any part of life, whether it is personal life or professional. You need to take care of the people and show them that you truly feel that they are important to you. When your employees will notice your feelings, they will start putting extra efforts in the task to keep your faith alive. But take care that your feelings should be genuine.

Simon Sinek explained the need for empathy with pure golden words. We all know a company can create astonishing results when all its employees give extraordinary results. But all the managers would just be scolding their employees to bring out the maximum output and employees who are underperforming would just be hiding their faces under the table. How can an employee come to you and say, “Hey I am facing this problem and need more time to bring desired results,  it won’t be possible for me to complete the task in the next 5 days” when they are 100% sure that you are just going to scold them  for the delay?

Moreover, how could you expect a company to produce astonishing results where their employees’ problems are not getting resolved, more importantly when they are so scared that they might be kicked off if they reveal any problem for not completing the targets.

Being a manger or a CEO, it is not your job to bring results from the market, your main job is to bring results from the people. Your job is to make your employees feel safe while working with you, it is not your job to make them feel fearful about their livelihood. Your job is not to match the decided targets; your job is to make your employees capable enough that they can achieve or even surpass the decided targets.

Empathy does not mean that you never put a clear and unambiguous vision in front of your employees, being a manager it is your duty to always give an honest feedback without thinking what your subordinates will think about you. When you give honest feedback with a feeling that you want your employees to improve at work front, then you will find that people will respect you more and will work with greater integrity.

If we have to take a perfect example then no one is better than Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group. He once said, “Train your employees well enough to leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”

In his book, “The Virgin Way” he has written how he handled a situation when one of his employee cheated on him by giving him one extra chance instead of filing a case of cheating against him.

So next time you decide to scold your employees, take a break of 1 min and breathe and decide again on what to do.

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